Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And it begins.

Rather than trying to make this perfect, I'm going to post it and hope the next few postings are better. I'm struggling with a little back pain right now, so my level of patience with formatting isn't high and it's probably best just to get this up there.

I'm learning that there are many communications out there that are giving updates on the legislative status of various resolutions. I'll list those elsewhere but in the meantime, check out the Episcopal Church site and Episcopal Cafe (google if you don't have the URLs).

Having arrived at the hotel about 1:00 Monday morning and finally getting to sleep around 3, it was a slow day for me yesterday. I did connect with Beverly who came in around 8 or 9, and we spent some time together. As I was mogging through the Hilton lounge area, I ran into some of the other Hawaii folks and spent time with them. That was nice.

I also finally met up with Mary Goshert, who was registering the folks from Hawaii and other dioceses in that part of the alphabet. Mary and I have known each other for about three years -- electronically -- and she took care of the boys for two weeks during my sabbatical. Yesterday, we finally were able to be in the same place at the same time and be in real space together rather than virtual space. What a buzz!

Not much else happened until 2 when the two houses (Bishops and Deputies) convened to listen to the Presiding Bishop (PB) and President of the House of Deputies (PHoD) make their opening addresses. They were introduced by Gregory Straub, Secretary to the General Convention, who made his appearance in a sparkly green jacket and bowtie (he's famous for his bowties). Fortunately he was projected on the video screens so those of us in the back and behind posts could see him. Unfortunately, we were unable to view the PB or PHoD because someone decided that they would be put up on the video screens. I'd like to assume there was a good reason, but I wasn't able to find one when I went looking for someone to project those two on the screens. I was just told that the planning committee decided that they wouldn't be projected for all to see.

After their speeches, we were exposed to Public Narrative by Marshall Ganz, a lecturer from Harvard. He and his presentation were projected on the screens. PN is a model that suggests the vision of an organization can be developed through individuals telling one another their stories. Of course there's a little more to it than that but that's what basically happens. Ganz calls it a leadership art. After yesterday, I call it the new sensitivity training of the 21st century. Frankly, I was pretty bored listening to personal stories (me stories) when I think that we have better and more productive things to do with our time. We're supposed to do this for three more sessions. I don't know....

I did watch some of the Michael Jackson funeral yesterday morning while ironing a bunch of blouses (yes, I do iron for all of you who are laughing). It certainly wasn't a funeral or memorial service, but it was a major tribute with some phenomenal music.

Stopped by the exhibit area and picked up a set of materials for a study called Listen to Her Voice, which is a series on women of the Hebrew Scriptures. It really looks very good and I think will be something that will attract a solid group in the parish. Hoping to find some similar materials that will address deepening our spiritual lives.

Also stopped by the Chicago Consultation reception and picked up Christian Holiness: Human Sexuality: A Study Guide for Episcopalians. I think we'll use this after my return. It was an interesting reception, attended by a variety of folks. The Chicago Consultation was formed about two years ago to address issues of equal access in the Episcopal Church for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals.

Beverly and I, along with Nancy Dinsmore (we were with her in Jerusalem last year), went to the El Camino Real reception. It was good to see friends and catsitters Ernest and Jill Cockrell, and to meet some new folks. While I was there, Mick Russell from San Diego stopped in and let me know he schlepped a portable generator over for me to use during legislative sessions so computer batteries don't die. I'm hoping to share that with other Hawaii deputies during the next 10 days.

And then back to the room. Didn't attend any legislative sessions; I decided to go to bed early so I'm caught up on sleep and ready to start with this morning's 8:00 session.

So I guess yesterday was a relationship day more than anything else. Connecting with the Hawaii group and re-connecting with friends from the past five years -- good people who are the essence of the Episcopal Church and the reason there will always be hope for this overwieldy, hierarchical, institutional behemoth of a religious organization to move forward toward the full realm of God.


  1. Thanks for the over-view of early hours. Please give us updates on global mission projects represented at convention and specifically the Point Loma delegation and Kenya. Also any positive move to support mission programs. Say hello to Goofy.

  2. Glad you're now blogging, Liz.

    Good that you're attending to self-care.

    Dana, how dare you refer to the Archbishop of Canterbury (who arrived at GC today) as "Goofy"?!!! {grin}

  3. Nooooooooooooo! I thought the ABC was Dopey, one of the seven you-know-who.

  4. Glad I found your blog - too late for GC but fun to read retrospectively. I skipped out after the first PN session - Marshall Ganz is too full of himself -- you could teach that stuff in a couple of minutes. Question one - what is your current passion? Question 2 where did you first encounter this? 3. How did the church and/or community nurture it?